I’m moving to Knoxville, TN … advice wanted, needed, welcomed!

I’m relocating to the Knoxville area within the month. Since I have to move quickly who else to turn to than Dopers?

I’ll be working just past the airport in Alcoa, but think I’ll end up living in Knoxville. But where? Next weekend is my first trip to look for a place to live. I’m probably going to be renting, but haven’t ruled out buying if I’m shown a house I absolutely love. Assume I’ll begin by renting to make sure I like the neighborhood I’ve selected.

So, where to live? I like to be near “stuff”, things to do and what not. I like things like the market; gas stations and bank are easily accessible. I want to avoid areas with high concentrations of UT students. Only because I may just be the cranky old lady screaming, “Turn that stereo down,” when my sleep is disturbed at 2am. (Sad but true).

So far, I am looking at Downtown, North and West Knoxville. I thought about Marysville but can’t find a lot of info on it. I do like the historic neighborhoods of North Knox; those areas remind me of home.

If I rent, I do need a garage. The apartment guide I’ve been looking through seems to be slim on complexes with garages, what’s up with that?

Last, I can’t sing Rocky Top, don’t really like orange and don’t follow college football or women’s basketball. Am I doomed?

Aside from good vs. bad areas to live, what else do I need to know to survive Tennessee?

Just a few years back, Maryville (no “s”) was chosen as one of the top ten places to live in the country by some independent group. They rated such factors as clean air and water, crime rates, schools, jobs, – but I don’t remember what else. It is charming – but not quite the same as a New England village.

Sorry, I’m unfamiliar with the Knoxville neighborhoods.

In general, Tennesseans understand Atlanta dialects.

Would it really hurt you to learn Rocky Top and have just one orange t-shirt? Those of us who live as far away as Nashville can get away without it, but you don’t want to actually invite hostility in Knoxville. :wink:

You will have access to the most wonderful weekend getaway – Asheville, N.C. So quiet and pleasant and clean.

The mountains are pretty this time of year but traffic is horrendous in the Smokey Moutain National Park itself.

Welcome to Tennessee! Go Titans!

:smack: ack! I knew there was no “s” in Maryville. dangit! Guess I should do a bit more digging on it.

Thanks for the reply Zoe. While I’m sure everyone understands the “atlanta dialects” I’m actually from Southern California. Sometimes things get lost in the translation (both ways). :smiley:

An orange shirt is probably doable, but I refuse to put a big orange “T” on the side of my car. I admit, I heard a rendition of Rocky Top on the radio my last trip up there … it frightened me.

Since I do like pro football, at least the Titans are a bit better than the Falcons.

I’m looking forward to being near mountains again.

Ok, I made the move from Atlanta to Knoxville in August 2002 (ok, sure, mine was for grad school).

Check Korrnet, Knoxapts.com and metropulse for apartments. I also used aptratings.com to check out the ones I was thinking about - that’s why I ended up here and not at another one. I also saw some interesting properties at Pittman Properties.

If you want a Sunday news Sentinel - or at least the real estate classifieds, let me know - I don’t mind sticking them in an envelope and sending them down, and I know I couldn’t find a Knoxville newspaper in Atlanta. I don’t expect that’s gotten better.

If you just want a basic apartment to keep you going and can get away without a garage for a while, I’d suggest mine (drop me an e-mail with SDMB in the title to Lsura_at_hotmail.com if you want to know which one). I don’t know what sort of availability they have right now, but they’re quiet (even with some UT students - the percentage is fairly low though - the building was originally built as a retirement home back in the 60’s) and the management is very nice - I have had no problems in the 15 months I’ve been here that haven’t been fixed within 6 hours (but I have had no nighttime problems).

Finally, you can get away with not knowing Rocky Top (I don’t know the words), owning anything orange (I own one sweatshirt that has some orange on it - I was cold and it was on clearance) or the like.

Next weekend is not a football weekend - in fact, it’s fall break beginning Thursday (ok, after class Wednesday), so there won’t be as many students around town, so it might be a good time to make trip to check some places out.

Umm…can’t think of anything else at the moment. Glad to see that we’ll be adding to the Knoxdope contingent!

My first piece of TN learning was that the Vols are not a variant of voles.

Lenoir City is another possible place to look.

If you’re willing to travel a bit further south, towards Madisonville or Sweetwater, great places can be had at a reasonable rent, and the travel isn’t bad, at least when I was doing work on a project in Madison County a few years ago.

Good luck!

Do not, I repeat do not, get a job with GC Services.

If you do you will be dealing with me on a daily basis.

Of course, I am in Columbus Ohio, and it will be all phone calls. Just remember, we do all the posting for Knoxville and we are all females and we all mensturate at the same time…

Just a fair warning…

Lsura Thanks for all the information. Fortunately I’ve been using a few of those links and browsing through my copy of *Apartment Guide * I’ve sent you an e-mail with my address. The Sunday pages would be awesome. All my trips up there so far have been during the week.

danceswithcats thanks for some more areas to think about. Having grown up driving on the freeways of Los Angeles, and more recently dealing with Atlanta traffic, the traffic leading into Knoxville and the surrounding areas paled in comparison. Still, I’m hoping to not have too long a commute, my car is a little temperamental.

tolyri Uh, I have no clue what you are talking about.

Thanks again folks. Um, are there any areas I should AVOID living

You’ve come to the right place. :smiley:

West Knoxville is the place to be - it’s where all the growth is currently occuring with new houses and condominiums are being planned daily. Construction here is much slower than in Atlanta, however, and that includes both commercial, residential, and (especially) road construction. Projects that will take two weeks in Decatur will take two years in Knoxville. No shiite - I’m not joking.

I would kind of call Knoxville “Atlanta Lite” - definitely a New South city, probably in a comparable level of development that Atlanta was in 1970. The medical industry is huge here with a large E. Tennessee regional hospital system based in K’ville - the number of doctors and specialists is staggering. This might be because of the nuclear facilities at Oak Ridge, just 20 odd miles away by highway. :eek:

The University is also a big employer and exerts a large cultural influence on the city - doings at UT (especially football games) dominate every element of town life, from the clothes people wear to eating patterns at local restaurants. You cannot escape the Volunteers here in Knoxville, it is impossible. Being a UGA fan myself, I find it quite easy resting in the lions den knowing that UT is 0-for-the-Millennium against the mighty DAWGS in mens football.

This town is very provincial, but it is noticably less so than even 1998 - a lot of “outsiders” (my term) are moving in town and the local character is being changed, diluted. I myself know a minimum of 9 people who have moved from Atlanta to Knoxville within the past decade, 10 counting you. But still… just a year ago the lead story in the 5:00pm local broadcast was a fist fight between two high school kids “which drew blood” the reporter hurredly added. :rolleyes:

This town has money. I don’t know where it comes from, but it’s there. When you move here drive the following roads (use a map):

Kingston Pike, from downtown south until you leave Farragut.

Northshore Dr, from Kingston Pike to Concord Rd. Right on Concord Road until you hit Kingston Pike again.

Lyons Bend Rd, from Northshore to Duncan Rd, right on Duncan Rd, left on Babbet (from memory). This is a fun drive, one that you will enjoy if you like twists and turns among a very hilly, tree-filled drive. If you can hit some of the parts of the roads just right you can feel your stomach drop. There’s some pretty good driving on Knoxville roads… except for the damn Knoxvillians, that is. :mad:

Broadway, from Downtown to the rural areas. The poor side of town.

Housing: There are a lot of condos in K’ville as there are an increasing number of retirees in town. Housing is not that cheap compared to Atlanta due to the amount of landscaping that needs to be done to create a plot of land flat enough for a house - Knoxville is in the Appalachians in a way that Atlanta is not, and natural flat spaces are very scarce. You might want to look into renting a condo, if possible.

Weather: I think from March until November that Knoxville is the prettiest place I have ever lived. The combination of blue skies, sunlight, and the diversity of greenery appeal to me in a way that not even Atlanta did (and I liked Atlanta). However, November through March can be the most dreadfully dreary winter you can have without a constant worry of snow. Constantly cloudy, rainy, misty, the weather is a total blah for a 3-5 month period. If you have Seasonal Adjustment Disorder (?) Knoxville might be a bit rough in the winter. I know it effects me and the wife.

People (natives): Knoxville is one of the whiter cities I’ve lived in, with almost 90% of the entire county being Caucasian. I find the people to be a bit more straightforward than what I was used to in Atlanta, and the sort of sarcastic, deprecating humor that I was used to in the ATL went over like a lead balloon in Knoxville - these people are pretty earnest and devout(!), and they don’t really understand or take to cynicism. It’s as if the Nineties passed them by.

Food: You won’t having problems finding restaurants in K’ville, though you will have problems finding restaurants totally out of the mainstream tastes - Knoxville might have a Thai restaurant or two, but you’ll be much better served if you’re in the mood for a bar and grill ala Ruby Tuesday’s and the like. For pizza I recommend Romans pizza on 9000 block of Kingston pike (or thereabouts) as they sell by the slice. There are also a couple of Mellow Mushrooms in town, which are pretty damn good as well.

Economy and Population: I think Knoxville is positioned for an Atlanta-esque boom, and I think that over the next 20 years we can see Knox County double or triple its current 400,000 population, and the surrounding counties (Anderson, Loudon, Blount, Sevier) accounting for 2-4 million more. The economy is well diversed with a good mix of government and private employment, the entreprenurial and small business sector is strong here, state income taxes are non-existent, and life, frankly, is pretty good in Knoxville. It’s not the most exciting town, but it’s 2-4 hours away from Cincy, Nashville, Charlotte, Louisville, Atlanta, Raleigh, and the Great Smokey Mountains.


Above is some census information regarding Knox county, TN.

Currently the Knoxville MSA ranks 62nd in the country (PDF file!, page 33).

I will admit I like it here more than my wife. I’ll see if she wants to add some info tomorrow (likely not, but I’ll try). If you have any questions I’ll be glad to answer.

Uh, we rank 62nd in the country according to population, with 680,000± people living in the Knoxville metropolitan statistical area (MSA).

Once you move up here we’ll have to have a Dope Fest in your honor. :cool:

Yes, and I might even actually attend!

Do yourself a favor, don’t travel east of Knoxville unless you are going non-stop to Asheville. Otherwise you may encounter one of the crappy towns around where I call home.

I am soooo not worthy!

Thanks for all the info JohnT. I saw a lot of similarities between Knoxville and the things that drew me to make the move to Atlanta a few years back.

I drove a good bit of Kingston Pike my last trip up there. I don’t know between what and what since I got off the highway and just drove. It was fun but sooo much stuff to look at!

Oh well, my bubble wrap awaits. Time to go pack some more. Thanks again everyone!

Whenever someone gets on your nerves, just tell them “Peyton did not deserve the Heisman” and watch the obscenities fly.

If you want to avoid most of the students then I’d stay away from the downtown area, especially the Fort. Game days you will see what I refer to as the Sea of Orange. About 100,000 people fully clad in their Vol outfits. It disgusted me when I first moved here.

Traffic sucks. Give yourself about an hour to get places, especially if you have to pass Papermill during rush. About the only time traffic is clear is during a game, but that’s because everyone is either at the game or watching it on TV.

There are tons of restaurants. The ones that make it are normally the big chains, but there are some places local to Knoxville. Altrudas (N. Peter’s area), Italian Market and Grill (Kingston Pk near Cedar Bluff), the Tomato Head (Market Square). Some how there are a lot of Italian places, but Olive Garden still goes on to a wait nightly.

I’ve avoided owning any orange clothes for the past four years, so I think you should be fine. You can’t avoid learning the lyrics to Rocky Top no matter how hard you try, at least not where I live.

umm thanks. But, I’d like to avoid hospitals. :smiley:

okay, so now I am curious, when exactly is rush “hour” ?

Rush can be any time between 7am to 9.30 am and 3.30 pm to 6pm and of course there’s always the hours before any home game. I’ve gotten stuck on I40 for up to an hour and a half, but that’s rare. Normally you can get through in about half an hour to 45 minutes and going through town isn’t much better. Actually I can only speak for the traffic between UT and West Knoxville since those are the only two areas I frequent. Some one else may be able to tell you about the other sides of town.

Oh, if you’re here around Labor Day, don’t forget about Boom’s Day. It’s Knoxville’s version of Fourth of July fireworks. Takes place over the Henley Street bridge. They shut it down for a few days to prepare for it. It’s actually a pretty cool show. Parking for it might be a little difficult. If you get there early you might be able to find a spot on the street in the Fort. It might involve a little bit of walking though.

Thanks ShadiRoxan! I’ve had the pleasure of traveling past Papermill … at 5pm, on a Friday, on a game weekend. My only salvation was I was heading out of town instead of into it.

Thanks to all y’all! You’ve been a big help so far! I’m looking forward to finding my way around town!

WOW! I had no idea there were so many Knoxville Dopers (or at least Dopers familiar with it!). :eek:

While I like to gripe and complain about Knoxville’s sluggish approach in revitalizing Downtown, as a downtown resident, I do recommend it. Things are finally springing to life around here, and there are plenty of new downtown apartments opening soon. Unfortunately, garaged parking is not terribly plentiful. Otherwise, your best bet is west. Woodlands West (I’m sure there are others) is an apartment complex in West Knoxville that offers the option of a garage. It is also convenient to I-140 (Pellissippi Parkway) which connects Oak Ridge, West Knoxville, and Alcoa/Maryville.

And Lsura is right; as much as people may try to convince you, knowing “Rocky Top”, worshipping football/basketball, and Fine Orange Fashion are not on the list of citizenship requirements for Knoxville. :wink: I’ve lived here all my life and I promise you, I cannot even hum the tune, much less sing the lyrics. And I actually try to leave town on football days.

While traffic can be bad, if you’re accustomed to Atlanta traffic, I suspect Knoxville traffic will be a piece of cake. Just watch out for perpetual construction.

Zoe’s right about Asheville. Though once you go, you’ll question the sanity of living in Knoxville instead of Asheville. It’s a gorgeous little town in a gorgeous area.

Summers here offer up free concerts every Thursday, called Sundown in the City. I believe they are expected to be on Market Square again next year, though construction woes put them in the Old City this year.

Feel free to drop me an email if I can be of more help. :slight_smile:

from the perspective of a transplanted Atlantan

Traffic is no problem in Knoxville as long as you can avoid all the locals who think that they’re still in 1947 - Knoxville is the ONLY city I have driven in where I have seen 17 year old boys squeal their tires in order to stop at a yellow light. :rolleyes: The biggest problem an Atlanta driver will have with Knoxville is the timid, effite driving patterns of the locals.

And what is it with the right lane? You drive along any 4 lane road (2 lanes each way) and the natives just park their butts in the right lane, leaving the left totally open. It is the most bizarre thing I’ve ever seen, and I see it daily. (In Atlanta and most other cities, people fill up both lanes with impunity, but Knoxvillians like to leave the left free of autos for some reason.)

Interstate 40 can be bad, true, but only for a 8 mile stretch and then you’re out of it. Compare that to Atlanta where I-85 becomes on big parking lot from 6:00am-8:45am from Hwy 16 in Gwinnett all the way downtown, 27 miles away. :eek: At least in Knoxville you have a large number of roads that run parallel to the highway, enabling the knowledgeable resident to avoid the highway in cases of need, while still maintaining about a 45mph average.

Otoh, Knoxville is small enough so that if the traffic on the highway does come to a standstill, you notice the extra traffic on Kingston Pike as people are getting off the highway.

But taking an entire hour to cross the city? No way, unless there’s ice on the road or something.

Imho, the best restaurant in Knoxville closed in the past year: The Kalamata Kitchen and The Kalamata Grill, a couple of Greek places that were pretty good. We even had Little Miss’s baptism celebration there. :frowning: The Corky’s on Cedar Bluff has closed (best BBQ this side of TX Roadhouse), but a couple of others are still open.